Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Who’s up and who’s down in the Sunshine State?

Everybody’s a winner on their birthday, and Gov. Ron DeSantis is no different. The state’s chief executive turned 44 this week, although both his office and his reelection campaign were mum on the party plans of the state’s first family. City & State threatened to stake out the Urban Air trampoline park down the street from the Governor’s Mansion to see if they’d show up, but we were stuck late at the office. Good thing too, because we didn’t know what to get as a birthday gift. It’d be weird to get him his own merch, like a “Top Gov” pocket tee or “Highway to the Freedom Zone” bumper sticker, both available on his website. We’ll figure it out next year. Now for this week’s Winners & Losers.

WINNERS:

Terrie Brady -

One Floridian with the name Brady won last year’s Super Bowl, but another one – Duval Teachers United President Terrie Brady – is a champion too after her union helped land a $1,200-a-year pay hike for new Duval teachers. A change in the starting base pay affects most teachers because the same rate applies for their first 14 years, meaning this is a victory for most of the county’s educators in a time where the state is experiencing a state-wide teacher shortage.

Michael Flynn -

He’s in like Flynn. The former lieutenant general and ex-national security adviser, who was famously pardoned by then-President Donald Trump, has opened a new chapter in his unconventional professional career: Joining the leadership of the Sarasota County Republican Party – and getting back in the trenches as a poll watcher. Local Proud Boy member James Hoel also joined with him on the county’s GOP executive committee, giving two far-right figures a seat at the table in Sarasota.

Ray Rodrigues -

The outgoing state senator is officially set to be the next chancellor of Florida’s university system after getting approved unanimously by the state’s Board of Governors. Board members said Ray Rodrigues, a long-time administrator at Florida Gulf Coast University, was significantly ahead of the only other candidate still on the short list. Rodrigues was also the most politically connected contender, having championed several high-profile higher education bills, like a university intellectual survey measure.

LOSERS:

Joseph Butkiewicz -

The Palm Beach County Inspector General's Office found that the county paid almost $70,000 too much to the air-conditioning company headed by Joseph Butkiewicz. His Riviera Beach business overcharged the county by inflating the materials costs through a shell company, according to the agency's report. Butkiewicz denied the findings, and his attorney called the report “false and defamatory” and pointed out the county is still doing business with his client. Whatever happens, it sure doesn’t look … cool.

Marco Rubio -

The U.S. senator is stuck between a rock and a Trump. He’s the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee as the FBI investigates whether the former president illegally took classified information from the White House to Mar-a-Lago. And he’s defending his seat in a general election challenge from U.S. Rep. Val Demings in a race that’s heating up. Can his committee conduct a fair assessment of the documents raid without alienating Trump and his base without giving Demings ammunition that he’s going too soft on The Donald?

Gregory Tony -

The Florida Commission on Ethics decided that Gregory Tony, whom Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Broward County sheriff in early 2019, needs a closer look. Specifically, whether he breached the bounds of ethical conduct by staying quiet on certain information before he got the job. Like using illegal drugs and killing a teen when he was growing up in Philadelphia. And, if it gets that far, DeSantis could be faced with equally unappealing options: Get rid of his own guy or leave him in office with a wounded reputation.

NEXT STORY: Five Questions with Maxwell Frost

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